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Staphylococcus aureus and Vancomycin: The Sequel

Adolf W. Karchmer, MD
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The author receives no financial support from the manufacturer(s) of products described in this editorial.

New England Deaconess Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Ann Intern Med. 1991;115(9):739-741. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-115-9-739
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Currently, among the many bacterial infections, Staphylococcus aureus infection is often considered to be troublesome but manageable with available antimicrobials. However, when viewed from a broader perspective, such complacency might be challenged. Staphylococcus aureus has demonstrated remarkable persistence and genetic versatility, which have allowed it to keep pace with modern medicine and antimicrobial development. During the early antimicrobial era, S. aureus bacteremia, with or without concurrent endocarditis, was a dreaded infection and was associated with a mortality rate of 80%. Initially, the introduction of penicillin reduced the death rate to 30% (1). However, the emergence of penicillinase-producing S. aureus as


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